[WORLDKINGS] Top 100 founders of the companies over 100-years and still in business – P65 - Koyata Iwasaki (Japan): Founder of 103 years of development of Nikon Corporation, famous Japanese manufacturer of cameras and optical equipment (1917)


(WorldKings.org) Koyata Iwasaki (August 3, 1879 - December 2, 1945 ) was the fourth and last president of a unified Mitsubishi. He took Mitsubishi public and turned the company into a giant corporate group centered on heavy and chemical industries. Koyata also articulated the business principles that continue to guide Mitsubishi companies today. He was also the founder of Nikon Corporation.

The eldest son of Mitsubishi's second president, Yanosuke Iwasaki, Koyata was born in Tokyo in 1879. He proved his ability early, getting high marks in elementary school and subsequently. He entered the University of Tokyo, but dropped out in his first year to study in England at the University of Cambridge's Pembroke College.



There, he occupied himself with history, geography, sociology, and other subjects, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1905. Koyata also gained an introduction at Cambridge to idealistic British concepts of social reform, which later influenced his approach to management.

Koyata became vice president of Mitsubishi on his return from study abroad. He assumed the presidency in 1916 at the height of the company's surging growth during World War I and headed the organization for the next 29 years. His leadership transformed Mitsubishi into a corporate group of more than 70 companies under the umbrella of the Mitsubishi headquarters.



Nikon was founded on July 25, 1917 by Koyata Iwasaki and was originally known as ‘Nippon Kogaku Kogyo Kabushikigaisha’ or the Japan Optical Industries Co Ltd. In 1998, it was renamed after its cameras as ‘Nikon Corporation’.



The company’s business bloomed during World War II when it supplied items like periscopes, bombsights, lenses and binoculars to the Japanese military. During this period, the company expanded to nineteen factories with a total of 23,000 employees. However, after the war, Nippon Kogaku went back to a single factory where it produced products for civilians. The success after the war was mainly due to the release of the single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. It also received financial aid from the ‘Mitsubishi keiretsu’.



Nikon became an international leader in the semiconductor-production industry in the 1980’s. It also started producing coloured film scanners and coloured printers.

Nikon has played a big part in revamping the Japanese photography industry and today, its products are associated with quality, precision and reliability.

According to mitsubishi.com and successstory.com

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